All rumours surrounding Google's plans to acquire WhatsApp for a whopping $1 billion can be safely laid to rest now. WhatsApp's business development head Neeraj Arora has told AllThingsDigital that they are not amidst sales talks with the search giant. Arora reportedly declined to comment any further.
As reported yesterday, some “inside sources” told Digital Trends that WhatsApp may be Google's next big buy. The report went on to state that the popular messaging service was “playing hardball” and eyeing an acquisition price “close to $1 billion”. Digital Trends had also been informed that the negotiations reportedly began four or five weeks ago.
It's been rumoured for quite some time now that a mobile messaging service would be the next big buy in the mobile space. It was rumoured in December last year that Facebook was in talks to acquire WhatsApp. However, multiple sources soon informed AllThingsD that Facebook would not be acquiring the messaging service. WhatsApp also told AllThingsD that the article was a rumour and not factually accurate.
However, note that the search giant probably won't take the time to rebrand and rebuild a competitive messaging app lest it enters the game too late.
Not selling to Google
WhatsApp has a large footprint in the mobile messenger market across the globe. The service has users in over 100 countries and is available on more than 700 mobile networks. In fact, WhatsApp's user base is so large that it managed to record 10 billion messages in one day—6 billion outbound messages and 4 billion inbound messages—in August last year. Also, on December 31, the service saw a record 18 billion messages being processed. The total number of messages comprised 7 billion inbound messages and 11 billion outbound messages. WhatsApp tweeted, “On Dec 31st we had a new record day: 7B msgs inbound, 11B msgs outbound = 18 billion total messages processed in one day! Happy 2013!!!”
WhatsApp is highly popular in India too. In fact, the first round of Consumer Rankings for India by Nielsen, launched in February this year, revealed that WhatsApp was the most engaging mobile app. It found that nearly half (47 percent) of the respondents engage with smartphone messenger service WhatsApp and spend 24 minutes a day chatting, making it the top smartphone app for urban Indian consumers.